Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got the goals as Arsenal battled back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at home to Tottenham in a pulsating north London derby on Sunday.

Arsenal coach Unai Emery was starting Lacazette, Aubameyang and record signing Nicolas Pepe all at once for the first time, and the former pair proved vital in bailing out the Gunners' haplessness at the back.

Christian Eriksen – restored to the starting XI after being benched – fittingly put Spurs in front early on after a rapid breakaway and Harry Kane made it 2-0 from the penalty spot, but Lacazette restored some Arsenal hope when thrashing home just before the interval.

That goal inspired a marked improvement from the Gunners in the second half and, although Kane hit the woodwork, Arsenal levelled through Aubameyang to seal a hard-fought point, meaning Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino remains without an away north London derby win in the Premier League.

Tottenham's early-season rustiness was nowhere to be seen when taking the lead on the break 10 minutes in, as Son Heung-min fed Erik Lamela for a low shot and Eriksen was on hand to tap in when Bernd Leno fumbled.

After having several other chances go begging, Spurs finally made it 2-0 five minutes before half-time – Kane emphatically sweeping home a penalty after Granit Xhaka's rash challenge on Son in the area.

But Lacazette struck in stoppage time, nudging the ball beyond Jan Vertonghen and blasting in to put Arsenal back in the hunt.

Arsenal piled pressure on after the break, with Matteo Guendouzi forcing Hugo Lloris into a fine save before Sead Kolasinac somehow missed from a couple of yards out.

Still Spurs worried them, however, with Kane sending a rasping drive against the post after a clever one-two with Eriksen.

Arsenal deservedly got their equaliser 19 minutes from time, as Aubameyang met Guendouzi's cross and prodded home.

What does it mean? Arsenal their own worst enemy again

Emery's men would have probably been good value for all three points, but they gave themselves a huge uphill task with the Spurs goals, which both came about via errors – Leno's fumble and Xhaka's foul.

Thankfully they have excellent forward capable of bailing them out, but what it is the point of having a fancy facade if you are built on sand?

Bright Son is Spurs' leading light

Spurs looked at their most threatening when playing on the break and Son was vital to that, with his pace, awareness and ability on the ball stretching Arsenal's defence all over the place.

Xhaka predictably rash

If there was one player from this match you could predict doing something particularly daft, it would have been Xhaka. The Swiss midfielder's foul for Kane's penalty was mystifying and entirely unnecessary, yet, because it was him, it was also predictable. When will he learn?

What's next?

After the international break, Arsenal return to action at Watford on September 15. Spurs host Crystal Palace the day before.

Mauricio Pochettino believes Tottenham should be judged differently to other top Premier League clubs because of reduced spending power in the face of a reported £600million stadium debt.

Tottenham borrowed vast sums to finance the construction of their new 62,000-seater home venue, which opened well behind schedule in April.

Three months later, a long transfer standstill ended with the signing of teenage winger Jack Clarke from Leeds United and Spurs negotiated further deals for Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon as their close-season spending reportedly totalled around £100m.

North London rivals Arsenal are believed to have splashed around three quarters of that figure on a single player – club-record signing Nicolas Pepe – and Pochettino highlighted the difference in attitudes ahead of Sunday's derby at Emirates Stadium.

"Arsenal, in the last two years, signed [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, the best striker in Germany, [Alexandre] Lacazette, the best striker in France and, one year after, Pepe," Pochettino said.

"If you see us in five years, we didn't sign one [expensive] striker and now our main striker is Harry Kane but our second specific striker is 17 years old, Troy Parrott.

"That is the difference in the projects. I don't want to say one is wrong and another is good. It's only that the way we operate is completely different and, afterwards, we need to compete.

"Mercedes compete with Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull [in Formula One]. After, we compete in the same race and, if you judge, the judgments need not only to be on the race but the whole process." 

Tottenham reached last season's Champions League final despite making no new additions in the previous two transfer windows but lost 2-0 to Premier League runners-up Liverpool.

Pochettino raised the Anfield club's squad transformation under Jurgen Klopp as one of a number of examples of how competitors are conducting their business in contrasting fashion.

"Different clubs ask the bank for £600m to invest in the team, like Barcelona or different clubs," he said.

"They create a debt by signing players, putting the debt on the pitch, trying to win.

"We are different. We need to create a legacy for the future. In this period we are suffering the restrictions but it's normal.

"We need to work hard to find a way to compete in this very tough league – in a different way to our rivals."

Christian Eriksen's Tottenham future will be settled one way or another on Saturday, according to manager Mauricio Pochettino.

The influential playmaker has been linked to LaLiga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid after saying in June he was open to a new challenge.

Eriksen, 27, has been at Spurs since 2013 and is out of contract at the end of this season, with the transfer deadline in Europe looming on Monday.

Pochettino insists the wheels must be in motion for any move by Saturday, with Spurs facing Arsenal in the North London Derby at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

"The good thing is if nothing happens on Saturday," he told reporters. "Because Sunday's the game and it’s not going to happen on Monday – there'd be no real time to do something.

"On Saturday we are going to know if Christian is going to be with us or not."

Spurs have made an unconvincing start to the season, losing at home to Newcastle United last weekend on the back of a 2-2 draw at Manchester City and a come-from-behind win over newly promoted Aston Villa.

Eriksen's emergence from the bench prompted the turnaround in the Villa match, while the Denmark international has only started against City as speculation over his future continues to swirl.

"People will say: 'Why are you playing Christian?' The team-mates can say: 'Why are you playing Christian if the rumour is he’s going to leave? Gaffer, why am I not playing when Christian is looking to go away?'" Pochettino added.

"In this situation there are plenty of things that happen inside that I cannot translate to the media and our fans.

"The most important is to trust in our judgment. If people have the information to make this decision, it's us."

Mauricio Pochettino has dismissed rumours he will be resigning from his position at Tottenham after Sunday's north London derby clash with Arsenal.

Champions League runners up Spurs have made an indifferent start to the season, with a home loss to Newcastle United last weekend leaving them with four points after three games.

Tottenham did beat Aston Villa in their opening fixture before grabbing a draw at Manchester City, but their early performances have been far from convincing.

Pochettino's side have the chance to kick their campaign into gear when they travel to Emirates Stadium on Sunday, and the former Southampton boss - who is contracted to Tottenham until 2023 - emphatically rejected reports he will be leaving the club, pinning the blame for such speculation on social media.

"What can I say about stupid rumours?" Pochettino told a news conference. "Only social media can create something that stupid.

"After five years now I start my sixth season. You know how we worked this summer to rebuild and update because from each summer, version 2.0, 3.0 - now we're version 6.0 MP software.

"I will not walk away after Sunday's game. I will be working Monday and Tuesday and then going away for a few days and coming back to meet [chairman] Daniel [Levy] and watch some internationals.

"Do you bet? It’s closed now! You lose your money! I hope that I can extend my life here. Sure it’s good for us and good for the club."

However, Pochettino also indicated any decision over his future is not in his own hands.

"I was with Daniel and [assistant boss] Jesus [Perez], we were at dinner in London [on Thursday]," Pochettino added.

"It was very good. We talked about everything. We needed that conversation, very positive. The most important thing is to help the team on the pitch and make sure the communication is clear.

"In the end, it's in the hands of the players and the results, and the last word will be with Daniel."

Turning attention to Sunday's derby, Pochettino was asked which Arsenal player - past or present - he would like to coach.

"Not to coach, but to play against, Paul Merson. To kick him!" Pochettino joked.

Losses for Arsenal and Tottenham last weekend are set to add extra spice to the always feisty north London derby at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

The Gunners were comfortably outdone by a Mohamed Salah-inspired Liverpool in a 3-1 defeat that ended their perfect start to the Premier League season.

Times are even tougher for Tottenham, who slipped up at home to Newcastle United and seem distracted by the transfer speculation surrounding star playmaker Christian Eriksen.

Clarity of purpose can be discovered in matches of this magnitude but a survey of the Opta data sheds light on just how difficult it will be for Spurs to succeed.

 

AWAY GAME NO ESCAPE FOR SPURS

Lucas Moura urged Tottenham to stop dropping "stupid points" at home right before the loss to lowly Newcastle.

Taking a break from the club's shiny new 62,000-seater ground might seem attractive in the wake of last weekend's result but there is scant consolation to be found on the road, even when the journey is only brief.

Spurs are winless in seven Premier League away games, a run not endured since an eight-game streak between December 2011 and April 2012.

Goals from Son Heung-min and Dele Alli did secure an EFL Cup victory at Emirates Stadium last season.

Could it be regarded as something of a wasted win?

Only once before - in 1925 and 1926 - have Tottenham won consecutive matches at Arsenal and it would take a first away league victory for Mauricio Pochettino over Unai Emery at the fifth attempt to break almost 100 years of history.

HEAD TO HEAD: DAVID LUIZ V DAVINSON SANCHEZ

Both sides need to return to form and, individually, so too do David Luiz and Davinson Sanchez.

The former was outfoxed by Salah for each of the Egyptian's two goals at Anfield, while Colombia international Sanchez completely lost Joelinton for Newcastle's winner.

Should he again be selected ahead of Jan Vertonghen, Sanchez will have a big job to do against Arsenal's dangerous, quick forwards and there are clear improvements he must make.

The 23-year-old has won a meagre 55 per cent of his tackles since the start of the last Premier League season, far inferior to the more experienced David Luiz's success rate of 74 per cent.

Opposition players also dribble past the Spurs centre-back with far more regularity - 0.77 times per match - than his fellow South American, who gets beaten an average of 0.24 times every 90 minutes.

David Luiz, winner of 54 per cent of aerial battles, remains some way short of a perfect back-four member and could struggle to deal with Harry Kane if Spurs can sling inviting crosses into the area.

FORM GUIDE

Arsenal headed to Merseyside with a maximum six Premier League points already registered and left with their confidence dented.

Emery's tactical tweaks subdued a slick Liverpool for close to 45 minutes but, once Joel Matip made the breakthrough, the European champions were simply too strong.

Still, after wins against Newcastle and Burnley, it could be worse, as Pochettino can attest.

His team's luck ran out after a fortunate draw at Manchester City as they spluttered to a 1-0 loss at home to Steve Bruce's Magpies, a side that had been reeling from a harrowing defeat on the road to Norwich City. 

Sluggish starts have been an issue: Watford are the only other Premier League team to have conceded the opening goal in all three matches this term.

HISTORY SAYS...

Beware the September specialists!

Sunday heralds the end of August and marks the beginning of a traditionally excellent month for Arsenal.

The Gunners have won more Premier League games (60) and boast a higher win rate (61 per cent) than any other side in September.

Converting penalties is important whichever page the calendar is on and particularly so in the north London derby.

Harry Kane scored one in March, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did not, and now spot-kicks have been the source of five of the past 14 goals in this fixture.

Mauricio Pochettino has admitted his Tottenham squad are "unsettled" as the future of some key players remains unclear - but all they can do is wait and see what happens in the coming days.

Spurs have collected just four points from their opening three Premier League games, suffering a shock 1-0 loss at home to Newcastle United on Sunday.

Star midfielder Christian Eriksen's future at the club remains uncertain with the transfer window elsewhere in Europe open until September 2, while Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are out of contract at the end of the season.

Pochettino said he was dealing with an unsettled squad at Tottenham, who face a huge trip to Arsenal on Sunday for the north London derby.

"The group is still unsettled and we need to find solutions," he told a news conference.

"We have one week more to wait and see what happens in the last 10 days. Of course I think that this is my sixth season and we have started the season as a more unsettled group that we are working with and that is why we must relax.

"We cannot fix some situations. There is nothing to say about that situation that is going on in the squad. Still we need to wait.

"That is a circumstance after playing in the Champions League on June 1, we knew that this was going to happen, some situations like this.

"But for the club and for us it is difficult to handle. We can only wait is all we can do."

Christian Eriksen remains focused on his job even as transfer rumours persist, according to Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Denmark international Eriksen continues to be linked with a move amid rumoured interest from clubs including Juventus and Real Madrid.

The 27-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and was only a substitute for the opening-weekend win over Aston Villa, before returning to the starting XI in the 2-2 draw at Manchester City.

Pochettino admits the uncertainty is far from ideal but insists Eriksen can still perform while his future is in limbo.

"I always tell the player to not be affected by the rumours," the Spurs boss said.

"In this situation, there is nothing to say, because still we have one more year on his contract. It's not the best situation for him, for everyone.

"He's acting naturally. You cannot put a finger on the problem. You need to try to help.

"I understand the club, I understand the player. You try to minimise the problem, try to treat the situation.

"This is an important player who needs to help the team with his performances to get positive results."

In June, midfielder Eriksen publicly confirmed his appetite to "try something new" after six seasons at Spurs.

"Christian has a personality and a character that... he's involved, and he's not affected by the rumours or situation surrounding him," Pochettino said.

Tottenham face Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday.

Mauricio Pochettino insists his Tottenham team selections cannot be considered "experiments" as he prepares to take on Newcastle United.

Spurs stole a 2-2 draw at Premier League champions Manchester City last weekend and face rivals Arsenal a week on Sunday, with struggling Newcastle visitors to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in between.

It was put to Pochettino that he might look to name a different XI against Newcastle in order to keep players fresh for the derby match, but he took issue with the word "experiment".

"Experiment? I'm not a scientist. I am not a chemist," he told a news conference. "You are talking about experimenting.

"That is in some room outside of this training room. We are coaches and we do our job, we don't experiment. We train people who have the ability to play football. Then that's it.

"Please don't compare us with doctors or people in university studying a lot. I have a lot of respect for the people who do what you say, experiment, to help life.

"But for us to find solutions, only I am a football coach, far away from the people who work in science or at university. I have full respect for them."

Discussing more openly the need to beat Newcastle, Pochettino still would not acknowledge there is pressure on Tottenham to win against a side in the bottom three.

"I think if we're going to talk about the extra pressure, it's a little bit early," he said. "We didn't feel the pressure of the Champions League final so, after our second game, we're not going to.

"Speculation is there, perception is there, I think we are going to try to play the game and try to win. Football is football and you have to respect your opponent. Newcastle are going to be a tough opponent.

"It's going to be a very difficult opponent. They need to start to win points, they'll be tough. They have a new manager, new signings. All that is going to make them more focused and try to be compact.

"For us, after a good result at City, our trust and confidence is high and at the same point believing Newcastle will be tough. We have to beat them."

Mauricio Pochettino says Son Heung-min will be ready to take on Newcastle United after serving a Premier League suspension, but warned fans not to expect too much too soon from Giovani Lo Celso.

Son missed Spurs' first two games of the new season due to a ban after he was sent off against Bournemouth at the end of last term, while Lo Celso made his debut in a short cameo at Manchester City last weekend.

The South Korea star hit 12 league goals in 2018-19, a campaign disrupted by the Asian Games, where he led his country to glory and avoided being called up for military service as a result, and their subsequent run to the Asian Cup quarter-finals.

Son's availability to face Newcastle on Sunday comes with Tanguy Ndombele ruled out by a thigh injury, while England midfielder Dele Alli has returned to training after a hamstring problem.

"Unlucky for him that [the ban] was over the holiday," Pochettino told a news conference. "I think he was training really, really hard to keep fit and improve in different areas. We are happy in the last few weeks he was unbelievable in the way he was available to train and compete in every single training session and I hope it's going to help the team from now.

"I think it was a good opportunity for him to build his fitness and have a proper pre-season which sometimes when you're involved in competition is difficult. For him, looking at last season which was really, really complicated for him and difficult and we used that situation and trying to be positive and helping him to get really fit to help him and the team.

"Because the pre-season is so important for every player, but sometimes the priority is holidays and this type of situation with him it was so clear that he was going to be suspended for two games and the plan was to provide him with good quality training to improve in different areas - and when the moment he is available to play to be in the perfect condition."

Lo Celso, who joined Spurs on loan from Real Betis with a view to a permanent deal, played five minutes from the bench in Saturday's 2-2 draw against champions City.

"I think Lo Celso is a situation that is not going to be easy," Pochettino said of the versatile Argentina midfielder. "He was in extended holidays after the Copa America, he didn't have a proper pre-season and didn't train too much.

"Then signed for us after a week without training. He's training well but is still so far away from what we expect from him. We need to give him time. He was involved [on Saturday] and will maybe have the possibility to help the team in some points, but we won't expect too much from him.

"We need to not put the responsibility on him, only to improve and adapt himself with us and see. It's a natural process to learn and improve. In the moment he will be fit and deserves to play then sure he will have the chance like other players."

Mauricio Pochettino suggested Tottenham have to shape their squad in a different way to their rivals in order to compete at the top of the Premier League.

Spurs had gone 18 months without making a signing before bringing in Leeds United teenager Jack Clarke and immediately sending the winger back on loan to Elland Road in July.

Clarke was indicative of the of business Spurs conducted in the window, with the arrivals of Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon amassing plenty of experience yet still burgeoning talents that Pochettino will look to hone in the coming years.

Pochettino, who has guided Tottenham to four consecutive top-four finishes, says the development of young talent remains Spurs' best chance of continued success.

"We sign players who are young and have the potential. Tanguy Ndombele only played two seasons at Lyon, didn't win anything and we brought him here to try to make him a top player," he said.

"Giovani Lo Celso on loan from Real Betis is similar. Ryan Sessegnon is more of a potential player and, of course, we signed Jack Clarke.

"When you compare with the different teams who are in the same race as us it's a completely different way. People understand we are playing to try to win but we have different resources to fight in the same race with teams that operate in a different way.

"I don't like to complain but when Kyle Walker was at Tottenham and we sold him to City for £55million two years ago, Kyle Walker-Peters was a kid. 

"Now we've sold Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker-Peters [now 22] is playing. 

"Maybe he was the fourth or fifth option when Kyle Walker was here so it's important people realise we're building players and that they're still young.

"He needed to compete against Raheem Sterling [in Tottenham's 2-2 draw at Manchester City on Saturday] and the best team. 

"So, it's a process that is completely different when you compare it to Manchester City, to Manchester United or Arsenal, Chelsea, teams like this.

"They are preparing themselves to win. For us the priority was to build the new stadium and, of course, to win because we want to win but the way we operate is completely different. Some people struggle to understand what the project is at Tottenham."

Aymeric Laporte and several of his Manchester City team-mates have expressed frustration over Gabriel Jesus seeing a late strike against Tottenham disallowed by VAR.

City and Spurs were drawing 2-2 at Etihad Stadium on Saturday when Jesus struck in added time, firing into the bottom-right corner from inside the box.

But celebrations were cut short by VAR with replays showing the ball hit Laporte on the arm during the build-up - and the goal was duly disallowed.

A frustrated Pep Guardiola told Sky Sports "they need to fix" VAR, City having seen video replay decisions go against them in a game with Spurs for the second time this year following April's Champions League drama, when Raheem Sterling had a goal disallowed for offside.

And Guardiola's players steadily followed suit on social media following the game, led by Laporte.

"Tough game! Learning to get used to external factors! Keep working!" the centre-back posted on Twitter.

Jesus was visibly upset by the call, despite referee Michael Oliver attempting to calm him down on the field.

"Great game, lads. Well played, but unfortunately we didn’t get the win," the Brazil striker said. "We scored the goal we needed, but....."

Kyle Walker was at fault for the second Spurs goal, losing Lucas Moura in the City box, but he also pointed a finger of blame at the technology.

"Vary frustrating today. But both teams fought well," he said on Twitter, with a deliberate typo. "Well done to Spurs. Always good to see the boys and fans."

Ilkay Gundogan, meanwhile, agrees with Guardiola's suggestion that rules involving VAR need to be amended for the good of the game.

"Today's VAR decision is really hard to take," the midfielder wrote on social media.

"Any attacker that commits handball, intentional or not, is now ruled a free-kick?? And if you’re defending it’s fine?? It only disadvantages the attacking team.

"In my opinion, this rule needs to be changed."

Pep Guardiola said the use of VAR has to change after Manchester City dramatically drew 2-2 at home to Tottenham in the Premier League.

Gabriel Jesus seemed to have struck an injury-time winner for the champions on Saturday but a VAR check ruled Aymeric Laporte had handled the ball in the build-up.

For City, there were clear parallels with the Champions League quarter-final against Spurs in April, where Raheem Sterling's late winner was also cancelled by VAR as Mauricio Pochettino's side progressed on away goals.

Guardiola feels changes have to be made to the way VAR is used in football, particularly when it comes to applying updated rules such as hand ball and goalkeepers needing to stay on their lines for penalties.

"Deja vu. I thought we left that situation in Tottenham in the Champions League last season. But it is the same," Guardiola said to Sky Sports. 

"The referee and VAR disallow it. It's the second time [it's happened] - it's tough. It's honestly tough but it's the way it is.

"They have to fix it. The whistle inside matches now isn't quite clear. But they believe it's hands. Sometimes it's not - against [Spurs striker Fernando] Llorente in the Champions League.

"It was incredible it wasn't a penalty in the first half [when Erik Lamela tussled with Rodri in the box] but VAR said it wasn't and then at the end they did [disallow Jesus' goal]."

Expanding on his theme in a post-match news conference, Guardiola added: "It was hands for the Llorente goal in the quarter-finals in the Champions League.

"At Wolves it was hands, but [Andreas] Christensen in Liverpool v Chelsea [the UEFA Super Cup] was not hands. And then the goalkeepers must stay on their lines in penalties, and the last penalty Adrian was not on the line.

"Always we will have these types of situations, so that's what it is, accept it."

Guardiola and opposite number Pochettino were engrossed in conversation during the VAR ruling and the Spurs boss was more accepting of the technology's use.

"I'm very pleased with a point and but also knowing we need to improve," Pochettino told BBC Sport. "We are in a process where we need to improve in all areas and the team is going to improve step by step, but we need time.

"It was an unbelievable goal [Lucas' equaliser]. Always when you play a team like Manchester City, you have to play your best.

"We need to accept that [VAR]. I was a little bit critical of VAR but now we have to accept the rules. Now it benefits us. No doubt it won't benefit us at other times. It's a rule we need to accept."

Manchester City are not perfect after all. VAR can stop them.

Last weekend's 5-0 demolition of West Ham at London Stadium led to some suggestions the 2019-20 Premier League title race could become a procession, with Pep Guardiola's side in irrepressible form and Raheem Sterling hitting a hat-trick.

But despite being completely outplayed at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, Tottenham were able to claim a 2-2 draw that may offer hints as to how this City team, winners of an unprecedented domestic treble last term, can be halted.

It is fair to say City could and probably should have been out of sight with a rampant first-half display, the 2-1 scoreline hardly a fair reflection of their total dominance in the opening 45 minutes.

Kevin De Bruyne ran the game, as he did in spectacular style in that remarkable Champions League quarter-final second leg against the same opposition in April, when VAR also came to the fore in memorable fashion.

But Erik Lamela cancelled out Sterling's headed opener by converting the only shot Spurs managed before the break, the visitors displaying a clinical edge Guardiola's men lacked.

City retook the lead before the interval, De Bruyne providing his second assist by laying a low cross on a plate for Sergio Aguero, but Spurs could expose defensive weaknesses in the champions even though they were mainly camped in their own half.

Set-pieces have been City's soft underbelly throughout Guardiola's reign but the arrival of Rodri, a club-record signing from Atletico Madrid and a towering presence at the base of midfield, was supposed to help them defend corners better.

A mere 19 seconds after his introduction for Harry Winks, though, Lucas Moura rose above Kyle Walker in City's problem near-post area to flick home the equaliser for Spurs.

It was the first corner the champions had conceded, and they defended it dreadfully. Walker turned to look for someone to blame but it was the right-back who did not properly track the run of Lucas as City's preferred zonal marking system failed.

Mauricio Pochettino's side rarely looked like going on to win the match but they managed to keep City out despite some erratic goalkeeping from captain Hugo Lloris, who was making his 300th appearance for the club.

And a flashpoint on the sidelines when Guardiola hauled off Aguero after 65 minutes, the striker replaced by Gabriel Jesus, perhaps indicated everything is not quite rosy in the City garden.

Aguero made his displeasure clear and, while it is never a surprise to see a player unhappy to be withdrawn, the dissent he showed to a clearly annoyed Guardiola was notable. Such rows are typically kept to the dressing room rather than played out in front of the world's watching media.

Guardiola put the incident down to "emotion" and something of a misunderstanding, but the pair have seemingly had an uneasy relationship. Guardiola often preferred to use Jesus in attack during his first season with City before Aguero's increased work rate and continued weight of goals convinced his manager he should be first choice.

It was Jesus who forced a late winner only for VAR to rule Aymeric Laporte handled the ball in the build-up to his cool finish. City fans, who had to watch VAR cancel out a late Sterling goal for offside in the European tie between the sides four months ago – a moment that sent Spurs into the semi-finals – could hardly believe it.

In the first half City, could also have easily been given a penalty when Lamela appeared to drag Rodri down in the Spurs box. Guardiola will hope VAR decisions even themselves out over the course of the season.

With an element of fortune, Spurs held out despite allowing the champions 30 shots to their own meagre haul of three, with City now already two points behind last season's title rivals Liverpool.

That heavy win over West Ham never really proved anything new, but the title race is certainly alive now.

Manchester City were denied a last-gasp winner by VAR as Lucas Moura's goal secured a 2-2 draw for Tottenham, ending the Premier League champions' winning run.

Lucas scored 19 seconds after coming on from the bench to level things up at 2-2, but Gabriel Jesus thought he had settled Saturday's thriller in stoppage time. 

In scenes reminiscent of April's Champions League epic, however, City were denied a 16th straight league win when VAR spotted a handball by Aymeric Laporte.

City had hit the front through Raheem Sterling, with Sergio Aguero nudging the home side back ahead after Erik Lamela's equaliser.

And, with Bernardo Silva having hit the crossbar and Danny Rose making a goal-line clearance, City's misery was compounded when Jesus' would-be winner was chalked off.

Mauricio Pochettino says winning a trophy this season is a purely personal objective and not a barometer for Tottenham as a club.

On the eve of his sixth campaign in charge, Spurs boss Pochettino admitted the time had come for him to deliver silverware.

The comments contrasted with his previously held view that a trophy was less important than cementing a place in the Premier League's top four.

Tottenham achieved that top-four aim last term while reaching the Champions League final, which they lost 2-0 to Liverpool.

Pochettino claims his goals have not changed since that result and are not necessarily an accurate measure of success.

"Of course it was always my priority [to win trophies], but it was a big priority to help the club," Pochettino told Sky Sports.

"It doesn't change that. Always my priority is to win, to win games and trophies.

"I think a few days ago someone asked me what my aim was for this season.

"My personal objective is to win a trophy, but that doesn't mean that winning a trophy is compulsory, or that it will be an unsuccessful season if we do not win a trophy.

"But personally, if at the end we do not win a trophy, for myself that is going to be an unsuccessful season.

"But that does not mean that it will be unsuccessful for the club. That is for myself, not the collective."

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